IGF 2020 WS #274 Sustainable media landscape in the post-cookies world?

Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Katarzyna Łukasik, IAB Poland

Speaker 1: Marcel Boulogne, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Elena Turtureanu, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Rhys Nölke, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: William Echikson, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Moderator

Townsend Feehan, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Townsend Feehan, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Rapporteur

Katarzyna Łukasik, Private Sector, Eastern European Group

Format

Panel - Auditorium - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

The impending changes to the (third-party) cookies and other online identifiers are enabling the wider digital ecosystem to re-think and re-architect underlying digital advertising & marketing infrastructure to continue supporting core industry use cases, while balancing consumer privacy and personalisation. The said discussion will involve a vast array of participants, coming from business, policy, and technology perspectives. Consequently, it will undoubtedly touch upon an extensive number of policy areas and questions, related but not limited to: privacy, lawfulness of data processing, transparency and accountability in the gathering and handling of personal data, access to data for fostering competition and innovation. Given the inevitable impact of the changes on the digital media ecosystem, questions about data-driven business models will yet be at the heart of the proposed panel: How to ensure that the open web - being an ecosystem of publishers, and technology companies operating collaboratively to serve needs of marketers - can continue to support the media that are still adapting to a highly competitive digital landscape? How to prevent the emergence of a two-tier digital society in which one will observe division into high- (paid) and low-quality (free ad-supported) journalism and online content?

The first part of the panel will explore the immediate impact of the technological and regulatory changes on digital advertising and the media supply chain. - How will the industry adapt and evolve to these changes? - What does demise of the third-party cookie mean for publishers and advertisers? - What are potential alternative ways of ensuring the feasibility of direct addressability going forward, for any advertising-related use case, including delivery and measurement of digital advertising? - How the expected technology modifications articulate with the existing privacy and data protection legal framework? - What changes can be expected from the consumer perspective? The second part of the session will examine a knock-on effect of expected developments on the media ecosystem, including the rich and quality journalism, and possible unintended consequences on the society at large. - Could the deprecation of the (third-party) cookies jeopardize the future of quality journalism? - How to ensure that the open Internet - being an ecosystem of publishers, and technology companies operating collaboratively to serve needs of marketers - can continue to support the media that are still adapting to a highly competitive digital landscape? - How to prevent the emergence of a two-tier digital society in which one will observe division into high- (paid) and low-quality (free ad-supported) journalism and online content? - How to avoid a situation whereby small and large publishers shift to a paywall-based subscription models, which could impoverish the media landscape with less variety and quality content available to the society?

SDGs

GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Description:

In Europe, digital advertising spend amounts to €55 bn (1). Digital advertising’s estimated contribution to the wider EU economy further exceeds €118 bn, while the industry powers over 1 mln jobs directly and over 6 mln indirectly. Critically, Europe’s content economy depends on digital advertising, with advertising accounting for over 80% of European newspaper and magazine digital revenues (2). Any decrease in advertising’s support to the objective, good-quality journalism would have serious consequences for the social and political landscape in Europe. The functioning of the digital advertising ecosystem, and consequently support for the news media and other types of content providers, is underpinned by the ability to process data for advertising-related purposes. The data processed relies to a large extent on cookies and other online identifiers. The existing technology is expected to be phased out expeditiously, in recognition of changing consumer expectations regarding privacy and personalisation. The industry has initiated conversations across the digital advertising and media supply chain to work together to re-architect the underlying infrastructure. The superseding technology must not only address consumers needs, but also ensure continued support of advertising-funded media and services available today. The multi-stakeholder panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead. Broad representation of stakeholders, with the media, advertisers and technology companies, as well as policymakers and researchers ensures diverse, inclusive and constructive discussion. (1) AdEx Benchmark 2018 study, IAB Europe, 2019. Available at https://iabeurope.eu/research-thought-leadership/iab-europe-reveals-res…. (2) The Economic Contribution of Digital Advertising in Europe, IHS Markit, 2017. Available at https://datadrivenadvertising.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DigitalAdve….

Expected Outcomes

The session will allow to surface views of a variety of stakeholders on the sustainable future for the open and user-first Internet. More specifically, it should inform readiness of the media supply chain, as well as policymakers for the expected technology changes that might affect the sustainability of journalism in the exceedingly digital era. The panel will enable the digital advertising ecosystem and the media supply chain to collaborate with the wider Internet community, engaging in a constructive discussion on the ensuing technology changes which are expected to critically change the Internet infrastructure. The existing ports of call with related discussions are IAB Tech Lab’s “Project Rearc” (3) and W3C “Improving Web Advertising Business Group”. (4) (3) https://iabtechlab.com/project-rearc/. (4) https://www.w3.org/community/web-adv/.

The Moderator will set the scene, by introducing the context of the discussion as well as the invited Panelists. A tour-de-table will follow, giving each Panelist an opportunity to provide their background and shed some light on the matters discussed. A discussion facilitated by the Moderator will allow focusing on two distinct parts: first, exploring immediate impact of the technological and regulatory changes on digital advertising and the media supply chain, and second, examining a knock-on effect of expected developments on the media ecosystem, including the rich and quality journalism, and possible unintended consequences on the society at large. The panel will also include a Q&A session which will allow the audience to ask questions or request to expand on the matters discussed in the course of the panel.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The open Internet with a variety of free content and services has always been primarily reliant on advertising revenue. Continued provision of that financial stream is critical for the accessibility of the internet itself. Moreover, any new technological solutions, in particular, changes to the widely utilised cookies and other online identifiers require engagement of the broadest group of stakeholders possible. This is because cookies’ use cases go well beyond digital advertising, and consequently the upcoming changes will shape the evolution and use of the Internet.

Relevance to Theme: The functioning of the digital advertising ecosystem, and consequently support for the news media and other types of content providers, is underpinned by the ability to process data for advertising-related purposes. The data processed relies to a large extent on cookies and other online identifiers.

Online Participation

 

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